Death toll in Mexico bad alcohol poisoning rises to 25

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Authorities in western Mexico say the death toll from a batch of bad alcohol has risen to 25, with 19 people still in the hospital.

The state government in Jalisco said Sunday the high-proof liquor involved in the late April outbreak was apparently contaminated with methanol.

The were various reports about the origin of the bad liquor. The state government mentioned an investigation into a Mexico City-based distiller or packager. It said methanol had been found in a cheap brand of cane alcohol known as “El Chorrito.”

And the federal health safety commission issued a statement blaming locally produced “punches,” eggnog and liqueurs that are often produced by adding fruit, dairy products or flavorings to commercial alcohol.

In fact, both version may be true; locals may have based their liqueurs on the suspect cane alcohol.

The outbreak sickened a total of 77 people, of whom 33 have recovered. Almost all were men in two poor, rural townships in the southern part of Jalisco.

Authorities seized over 3,000 liters of suspect alcohol and have inspectors combing that area and a few others to catch any remaining lots of the booze, which was apparently sold in plastic bottles.

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